Ann's Blog
Items filtered by date: October 2017
Saturday, 07 October 2017 20:25

Purple, Brown, and Harvest Time

We had a fine and busy week celebrating purple and brown. On Monday, we had Purple Cow which almost everyone liked. On Wednesday we baked (and ate) what we called "brownie cake muffins," with a gluten free mix and four eggs... since there were four egg crackers... Nursery recipes are always delicious! Nurseries made purple playdough by kneading together red and blue. There was lots of making and wrapping of presents for friends and family all week long. 

The rains arrived just in time on Thursday for some good brown mud. We gathered walnuts still in their coats of green on Friday… you may have had a bag or two come home with you!  And then we finished up the week on Friday afternoon with Grandfriends Day!

Ben continues to play his music in the Nursery... and at Grandfriend's Day for the entire school community also! In the Nursery, he will often play piano to support and focus the play or to switch the energy of the room or to foster the dance. He has also begun to work individually in a very organic way at the piano with any children who are interested. Last week he played the background beat, chording on the left for individual Nurseries. I watched one child spontaneously add in the right hand, playing around and then falling into the beat, sometimes repeating his spontaneous melody. I could watch and hear him making his own musical discoveries as he and Ben interacted.  

There were many good meetings as the children get more and more practice and comfort with the concept of setting times with one another, telling a friend they aren't comfortable or listening to a friend say the same… which can be even more difficult. What will also come more and more to all of them is the give-and-take necessary so they can solve a problem together and have their play continue on smoothly without the interruption of a lengthy meeting. Among other things, the Nursery is their social laboratory for discovery... plus their understanding of the intricacies and responsibilities of living in the world of their peers. As much as they are all drawn to this, it is hard work and I know they must be tired when they get home!

The children and I have begun to talk about our trip to the Peifer's Orchard later on this month. It's scheduled for an Orange Day, of course. On the morning of October 24th, we will all climb aboard the hay wagon that John Peifer has hitched to his tractor for a ride down to one of the pumpkin patches. Each child will get to pick a pumpkin that he or she can carry back to the wagon. We will also stop along the way so each child can pick an apple for the ride back. It makes a lovely harvest experience for the children and also a gentle contrast to all of the intensity and excitement (and for these ages… sometimes real scariness) of Halloween.

Sunday, 01 October 2017 20:40

"Yes.... It's a play; it's a play...."

We were all grateful for the break in the weather last week… Tuesday in the Nursery, the children were slow and melting with the fans on high and by Wednesday they were renewed with BIG energy and they wanted to go right out into the chilly morning. We seemed to go from August to October overnight! 

I am beginning to getting a sense of building Halloween energy, probably as the children see more of the seasonal stuff in the stores or around and about. October can also be an intense time for young children partly because of cooling weather, changing seasons, harvest time… and also just the Halloween excitement that is beginning to float in the air.  

Even with the heat on Tuesday, the afternoon group made a plan to go up on the Golf Course  to catch a breeze and expand our boundaries a bit. We started off with our music with Darla sitting in the shade of one of the baby trees and then Nurseries had some time to run in the expanse of sun and green. These children will help make a foundation for the rest of the group when we are ready to use the Golf Course all together.  

On Tuesday we made a blueberry pie for Blue Days and everyone asked for a piece! Many loved it and almost everyone sampled it… at least the blueberries. Later in the week we made green burritos with cheese and pesto (and also no pesto) for Green Days. Every one tried and many asked for seconds!

On Wednesday, the morning imaginative play of "kitties" in the the Nursery room morphed into "witch cats" on Cycle Circle Side. The next morning was Art/Science… Brian put out a bin of dress-ups in the room which provided inspiration for beautiful, complex, collaborative imaginative play. Really, it soon was beyond imaginative play and had expanded into truly amazing theater. 

These are fine actors! I went outside for a while to be with a small group and left Brian and Ben inside with the rest of the group. I knew I was going to miss a lot of something quite wonderful. When I came back in, there was a Princess on the stage with a toy microphone singing a soft song to another child with wolf ears (also holding a mic and singing in reply): 

Princess: "You are bad… you are bad… you are not my friend…"

Wolf: "Watch out… watch out… I'm a blood thirsty wolf." 

The facial expressions were so very evocative of their words that I had to ask, "Is everything okay?" 

The Princess sang back without even looking at me (NOT wanting to break character) "Yes... it's a play; it's a play…."

I looked over to my left and there were two other Nurseries dressed in black together — one with a feathered mask. They were sometimes facing off, sometimes running along in tandem and singing (one also with a toy microphone): "Everyday…. Everyday…. And don't be nice to your friends… that's the bad guy song." 

In addition to all of this and Color Days, we are getting to know the Younger Groupers and beginning to figure out our YG partners. Partners make a lovely way for the students in the two groups get to know one another and form connections and friendships. For the Nurseries it helps demystify just who those big kids are and fosters a feeling of community. Throughout the year there will be performances and events at school and it can be a great feeling to have your YG partner along with you. 

We finished up the week with a Readers Theater performed by the Younger Group and they brought us chocolate cookies. This was in the afternoon…  on a smaller scale for this first gathering, but soon all the Nurseries and YG's will be gathering up.

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